Part 1: Customize SharePoint Online User Interface using JavaScript | CSOM | PowerShell


Woman’s hand drawing a light globe with a felt pen


During my web-ex session “Manage SharePoint Online Using CSOM” I showed few of the custom functions wrapped up as script module. I will be posting the recording session by next week and module will be shared in Git! In the session content management team was actively posting questions and this blog series shares all the questions and solutions we discussed.

Question: Can we Inline Java Script and modify the ribbons, menu items etc in SharePoint Online? If yes can you show step by step procedure?

Answer: Start from here!

Step 1: Create a folder and save all the required files and test the simple java script code to show Hello, World!


Step 2: Now, we need to know the existing custom actions attached in the list, the below code does it for you!

For now, we haven’t attached any custom user actions so the script returns nothing for the list custom (In your case if you have any user custom actions attached you get to see whole bunch of information)!

Step 3: Now, we will add a simple menu in the SharePoint List item menu (The code is in MSDN link and we will use the same but in PowerShell). Take a look at the screen shot which is default out of the box options.


Let us add a menu name as Bing to open the bing search engine !  below is the code which does it easily

It works! Here is the output 🙂


Step 4: If we rerun the Get Custom Actions script we get to see information about the custom actions we added. The below image illustrate it


If you re run the script List Drop Down Menu it gets duplicated! So, don’t do that if accidentally did that like me not an issue quickly clean the dirt by running the below piece of code

Clear! Now, it’s time to use java script 🙂 since I have very basic knowledge in java I showed the example using the MSDN code sample 🙂 Yes Copy + Paste !

In this example we will add a custom ribbon user interface in list display form  – All I did is removing the unnecessary nodes from the XML and below is my example

I don’t have the BingSearch and bing image in my layouts so image breaks but code works as expected



Sample code is below, you need to change the URL, credentials and list name as applicable! Exception handling is not in place because this is built during the demo

Go through the MSDN reference links for more information! In next part I will show bit more automation of UI settings using PowerShell. Cheers 🙂 Enjoy PowerShell 🙂

Delete Navigation (Top Navigation or Quick Launch Node) Using CSOM and PowerShell


A colleague asked me a script for deleting nodes from Global Navigation or from Quick Launch in a SharePoint Site. Before we get into the PowerShell script lets know about the Navigation (In General). The below image illustrates the navigation settings in a SharePoint Site


All the headings with folder signs are parent nodes and links are children i.e child nodes. The requirement for now is to remove the parent node which can be accomplished by enumerating the appropriate collections QuickLaunch and TopNavigationBar. Here is the full script

How to use this script? Copy paste the code in your script location for example C:\Scripts and follow the below steps. Warning: If you have deleted the node it can’t be restored.

$Credential = Get-Credential -Credential ‘’ – By doing this we can pass multiple site and node title and remove the nodes from different sites

I have removed few nodes from Top and Quick and the below image illustrates it. (Compare the preceding image)


In my next blog I will share few more scripts for SharePoint Online which may helps content managers to manage the site easily. Enjoy PowerShell!

Retrieve SharePoint Site Groups Information Using PowerShell

A colleague asked me a script to retrieve SharePoint Site Groups information by excluding the user’s information and added he couldn’t use Select-Object cmdlet to exclude user’s collection in the group property. Yes, it’s not possible! But, we have a fix for it and here is the PowerShell script to get Group properties by ignoring the UserCollection property in it

Reason: We need to explicit request and execute to get user collection information but in our case it’s not required. So, simply we skipped the property which has type as collection. Note: In group property user is the only collection type property.

Import User Profile Picture from Exchange Online using EWS and PowerShell

One of our customer requested a solution to import user profile picture from Exchange Online. Not a big task but this article is to share the simple and clean method to carry out the task without MSOnline module. Yes, we use only PowerShell! At customer environment user uploads profile picture in intranet portal which saves the picture in file share, yeah I got the same question why can’t they get it from the file share? We can but not easy to do because of the profile image file naming convention, every user has an intranet portal profile ID so the files are saved as ID_DATETIMESTAMP. E.G “PROFILEID_YYYYMMDDHHMMSS”. There are many possibilities to do like query intranet portal DB to retrieve image file information and retrieve, use MSOnline module Get-UserPhoto etc.

Outclass is to use PowerShell and get it done on the fly. All we need is the EWS url for the profile picture residing in the Exchange Online and it’s shared below with sizes for reference and hew is the documentation for Get User Photos by using EWS in Exchange

1”UserEmail” &size=HR96x96 HR96x96
2”UserEmail” &size=HR240x240 HR240x240
3”UserEmail” &size=HR648x648 HR648x648


All set to spin up PowerShell ISE for scripting! Simply use Invoke-WebRequest cmdlet with OutFile parameter to save the profile image in disk like shown below

Yay, its easy to get the profile picture information at ease without using Get-UserPhoto cmdlet and no need of Set-Content with Encoding parameters (Saves more time) ! here is my picture – Output of the above snippet!


Check out the sample script below which use ADSI Searcher to retrieve user AD information and save the picture in disk as sAMAccountName_DisplayName.jpg 🙂


Part 4 – Getting Started With CSOM | SharePoint Online | PowerShell


We discussed and show cased few PowerShell and CSOM functionalities in earlier blogs. Please refer to the links below

In Part 3 we showed the steps to add Format files for our Script module and in this article we will demo an alternate method to Add custom view for our objects without creating PSOject explicitly and this is just a tip to get List Property information. Do remember we are using CSOM and PowerShell and there are high chances of performance issues which will be addressed in later upcoming blog articles. For, now we will cover alternate options.

Code at Ease

What we did here is a very simple and ugly way of getting List Information and created a default view using Format.ps1xml. The advantage is we will allow users to select the required properties! So, no need to type all properties names and keeps the code neat and clean. Again! Please ignore the performance we will discuss about it soon. This function takes maximum 4 seconds and 1 second minimum to query.


333 Well! It looks good for now! Let’ test it with different properties



Part 3 – Getting Started With CSOM | SharePoint Online | PowerShell


In our last blog series we have seen few concepts of PowerShell CSOM like creating functions and including comments based help for our PowerShell functions in the module. Reference Links is below

In this article we will demo about adding format files to get desired output.

What is Format File?

Why we need to add format file? The very simple reason is to define display the object in command line. For example check the output of Get-Service cmdlet. By default it shows the properties like Status, Name and DisplayName which is defined in the file DotNetTypes.Format.ps1xml. Please use this for reference and do not modify it to avoid tampering of your existing view in PowerShell. So, when we run Get-Service we get three properties in output by default and to see more we either do one of the below as required
111. Okay, with this reference we will create our own Format File and name it as SPOnlineModule.Format.PS1XML and the location is under our module folder. To make this article easy I am opting to make List View Basic

Get Started

Let’s make our job easy! I copied the code from the List View Basic and modified my PowerShell function to meet the requirement.

All we need to do is simple steps

  • Create a Format File and name it as SPOnlineModule.Format.ps1xml
  • Save the file inside your module directory
  • Include this file name in PSD1 file at FormatsToProcess = @(‘SPOnlineModule.Format.ps1xml’)
  • Import the Module
  • Connect to SharePoint Online and execute Get-xSPOList cmdlet which yields only two properties Title and ItemCount.

Just as an example I am selecting first 5 list and the output is illustrated below
Note: We haven’t fixed the Connect-xSPOTenant cmdlet yet! We need to add Conditional Scope to make it more friendly.

In our Get-xSPOList cmdlet I included the below code which appends the view name to the PSCustomObject


Part 2 – Getting Started With CSOM | SharePoint Online | PowerShell


In our last blog post (Part 1) we have show cased two functions which allows us to connect to SharePoint Online and retrieves list information from the site collections. Now, we will create a small PowerShell module with help.

About Modules

To learn about PowerShell Modules refer this link. We will be focusing about Script Module! Which is easy to understand and to troubleshoot as well. A script Module is nothing but valid script saved as .psm1 file and it has a structure to save. For our demo, we will save the PowerShell module is User Module path i.e “C:\Users\ChenV\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\SPOnlineModule” in which SPOnlineModule is the folder which contains .PSM1, .PSD1 file and required DLL’s. Ensure the psm1 and psd1 files are also named as SPOnlineModule.

Specific User

This is the location for installing modules for specific user “$home\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\

For All Users

This is the location for installing modules for all users “$EnvProgramFiles\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\”

Creating Modules

It’s very simple to create module but before distributing it ensure you have done the below

  • Test the Module
  • Include PowerShell Version
  • Create a Proper psd1 file
  • Include all required assemblies (In our case it’s required)
  • Include Help Files (This blog post will cover this!)
  • Create a Custom View for the Output

PSD1 File

This is psd1 file for the two functions we created named “Connect-xSPOTenant” and Get-xSPOList. I have moved all the SharePoint Online CSOM SDK Assemblies to my module folder. Just to distribute it to my clients and they don’t need to install the package. I have included the required dll in NestedModule Section.

PSM1 File

We haven’t added help / comments or display view for the functions. All we did is created the module with required files. The below code is my PowerShell .psm1 file which has only two functions as I mentioned earlier.

Take look at the folder contents inside my module folder – And remember we named it as SPOnlineModule
2016-05-24_16-28-30 It’s good to start! Let’s try to import the module and test the functionality so we can add the requirement components which makes our module rich and easy to use.

Fantastic, we can see the module loading successfully.
2016-05-24_16-32-01 always use Verbose switch to get information about the cmdlets we are loading to the session. Now, let’s see the available cmdlet by simply executing the below snippet

and the output is shown below
2016-05-24_16-34-35 let’s skip the functionality test because we did it in our previous blog (Part 1). So we will focus on help and custom view for output formatting in this blog post. If we run the below PowerShell code we get very basic information about the cmdlet.

Something like this
2016-05-24_16-38-45 Okay enough of theory, we just need to add comment based help for our function and PowerShell will take care of the rest. To do this in our psm1 file we will include the comment based help inside the PowerShell functions like shown below

Just by doing this we are adding more feature to our PowerShell module and makes others to read the help before using the module. Avoids many hindrances and break dependencies at work place. Any PowerShell folks can go through the code and understand it. So, now Connect-xSPOTenant looks like below

which now allows us to use help at ease.
2016-05-24_16-53-24 and examples like 34334

Part 1 – Getting Started With CSOM | SharePoint Online | PowerShell


CSOM is no more a secret for SharePoint IT Professionals and developers. MS released a new version of SharePoint Online CSOM and it’s available in Nuget which makes our life bit easier. All we need is to run Install-Package “Microsoft.SharePointOnline.CSOM” -Verbose 2016-05-24_14-32-44 We can use VS Community Edition for building binary modules or use Visual Studio Code editor to build scripts or script modules. After installing the packages I found my Nuget folder under the path “C:\Program Files\NuGet\” and the required DLL are located in “C:\Programfiles\NuGet\Packages\Microsoft.SharePointOnline.CSOM.16.1.5026.1200\lib\net45“. The DLL files are listed below. This is a part 1 so we will just use Two DLL’s for now to get very basic information.

  • Microsoft.Office.Client.Policy.dll
  • Microsoft.Office.Client.TranslationServices.dll
  • Microsoft.Office.SharePoint.Tools.dll
  • Microsoft.Online.SharePoint.Client.Tenant.dll
  • Microsoft.ProjectServer.Client.dll
  • Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll
  • Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.DocumentManagement.dll
  • Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Publishing.dll
  • Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll
  • Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.Windows.dll
  • Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Search.Applications.dll
  • Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Search.dll
  • Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Taxonomy.dll
  • Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.UserProfiles.dll
  • Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.WorkflowServices.dll

Using Import-Module “Path to DLL” I loaded the binaries to my PowerShell session so the Visual Studio Code will help us in intellisense. Thus, we do code at ease! The below function will establish the connection to SharePoint Online at tenant level. To understand the SharePoint Online site hierarchy refer the below image (Just as a References)a30d1b67-e6ff-4fea-bc44-5f00ba7fcc33 PowerShell Code to Connect With SharePoint Online Tenant

Just halt here! We didn’t use the conditional scopes to validate. If you pass incorrect values to variables no exception will be thrown. If you are planning to commit this in Binary module then refer this blog post. After establishing the connection we can query different site collections to get list information. For example, refer the following function which connects to one of the Site Collections and retrieve List Information.

The below figure illustrates the output.
2016-05-24_15-39-18 In our next blog we will add some more functions and show case creating modules.

SharePoint Online PowerShell Tip: Customize Your Script to Meet Client Requirements



Recently I was building a PowerShell Module for one of our customers SharePoint farm. Of course, it’s completely customized. The SharePoint Online farm has multiple site collections with different languages. Any organization located in across geographical area needs this set up. So, in one our cmdlet we retrieve site information including language (In My Lab all the site are in en-US but the code works for other LocaleID ).

Get Started

Though, I was in middle of building binary module, I just paused it for a while and used SharePoint Online Management module for testing.
1Good let’s import the module to meet our need

2 Well, module is imported with warning due to unapproved verbs and that’s not going to impact. Now, let’s connect to SharePoint Tenant by using the below cmdlet

and by using the Cmdlet Get-SPOSite we can get the information we required like shown below

3 I just selected two properties to avoid exposing domain information. 1033 is LCID of en-US (English United States). Let’s play with our native Windows PowerShell

which accepts three overloads let’s grab the first one to show the display name of the LocaleID (A property (output) of Get-SPOSite)

5 Fine, we know the way to do! Let’s include in our Get-SPOSite cmdlet to get desired output.

6 or we can get display name by executing the below code

7 Clear, in the binary module I added the below piece of code to get desired output for our content managers

and the sample code is below

Note: I have included help and format files in this code!

VS Binary Module Tip: PowerShell 5.0 SDK Reference Assemblies – Nuget

PowerShell 5.0 SDK Reference Assemblies is available in NuGet. If you are building binary modules you can add the references from Visual Studio just by executing the below command in NPM Console

In the NPM UI we can get it in one go – By Clicking Install
Cool, its easy to add the reference to our project and start building the binary module easily. When we build cmdlet we need to run and test the functionality and each time we execute it’s necessary to close the PowerShell Console Host or ISE host if the binary module is loaded and we can’t rebuild the solution. It will end up in Dll in use error. We can easily over come this by following the below steps.

  • Right Click the Solution from Solution Explorer.
  • Choose Properties and in the Right Pane Select Debug
  • Click Select External Program. Navigate to “C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\”.
  • Select PowerShell.exe
  • Select the option Enable native code debugging

So after building the code simple click “Start” in Visual Studio which open the PowerShell Console.
Additionally, we can load our module with the help of Command line arguments.

Enjoy PowerShell 🙂 🙂 🙂